I am, divided.
1] physical self (material manifestation)
2] mental self (reconciliatory bridge)
3] spiritual self (metaphorical energy)
4] collective self (omni-lateral awareness)
5] unified self (gravitational synergy)
6] oneself (quintessential reunion)
7] selflessness (paradoxical existence)
In the span of time that I have lived
I have not seen the sight of myself walking
nor heard the words of my voice speaking
I’ve heard my footsteps rebound against the ground
and felt each echo of it resound
just as I’ve seen reality reflected upon me,
and its light refracted, that my eyes can see
It’s difficult to sheath our weapons and lay down our armor because we’re not only fighting each other, but also our own instinct to survive. If we view existence as a self-survivalist, â€œevery man for himselfâ€, â€œto the victor goes the spoilsâ€, then inevitably this leads us down the path of self-destruction. Our only redemption here is to implant our sacred trust in another being without expectation of reciprocity. If this is impossibility, then the children of this earth shall never inherit the fruits of peace. Inversely, one maybe considered to be naive by the body cynics if they have the capacity for unconditional trust.
I am moved to tears every time I see the crippled, the famished, the weak, the meager, and the unloved. Why? Because in this brotherhood of man, all is my own flesh and blood, and their suffering is my suffering, their woes, mine. And why should it be any other way since every action I execute impresses upon the world its consequences, and the ripples traveling far and wide, eventually return to the source changed by the lives it has touched, and ultimately, I am changed by it. John Donne said, “no man is an island unto himself.” I concur.
Love is Life is Poetry
the pulse of my chest pounds
with the melody of your bosom
and our bodies flow like
rhythms of poetry,
between the silken darkness
our frictionless breath warms
the brine expelling from
our bodyâ€™s interlace
in this moment
we are wholly captured
by the original womb,
our contours blur and
love is an intercourse
buried in the exchange
of our chemistry,
and our sweat
no taste of sweet liquor or
scent of earthâ€™s blossoms
can measure at length
to one loveâ€™s sacrifice
for only in death is life renewed
and its gift spins natureâ€™s resolve
as the law of life ordered
in the cosmos
as rupturing stars,
with illuminating grace
for this reason
a lover declares,
â€œi would die for you,â€
and thrusts into descent
toward loveâ€™s embrace
for love he dies,
in love he is reborn
and within this fleeting repose,
celestial bodies at once
hold their breath;
the universal eye
blinks to capture
an epic still frame
then, in rapid exhalation,
we emerge from ecstasy;
body rinsed with fluid and
absorbed in the intensity
of our collision
rampant flames unclothe our flesh
with a feverish caress,
and we bathe in the tenderness
of its arresting comfort
in this furnace of lust
our desires burn, its ashes
blanket our unassuming form and
we, as crashes of lightning,
split the naked earth
rapt in a capricious trance,
all reason alludes and reality is
the frolicking space of fantasy;
our experience, purely visceral
life and death, only distance
time and space, merely concepts
love is life is poetry
The Answers Are in the Back of the Book
every book originates from an idea conceived
by a mastermind erupting with inspiration
who machinates tales of friendship and discovery
pioneers of worlds beyond imagining
romance, chivalry, and lovers unrequited
windows to the horrors of flesh and living
a binding reveals little of its contents
it is the whim of the natural architect
a curtain that covers its naked pages
a vital skin of mortal things it protects
enveloping bodies of different shapes and sizes
that exude a superficial sense of personality
vying for the attention of haphazardly darting eyes
and declaring uniqueness by flaunting its identity
ideas seeded in the eager womb published
life breathed and the immaterial takes form
populating neatly crowded uniform shelves
displacing the dusty aging tombs deformed
books organized and displayed pristine
their reality an illusion of perfection
those blemished or unfit to be seen
stowed and disposed for their conditions
never have their pages turned or chanced to crease
nor its body held with devout passion and sincerity
none will be of acquaintance to its preface
and the story within remain lost to indignity
victories in conquests and mortal defeats
in a complex weave of tragedy and triumphs
stitched by the threads of wants and needs
are fibers that bind the pages of these volumes
twists of fate and misshapen lives
the science of fiction
in art and in war
looking at life through the eyes
of mass deception
betrayed and stalwart
is this a fantasy or
a reality contrived?
a dream everlasting or
our destinies arrived?
of whether we exist or
when we shall expire?
out of first breath or
cast into the fires?
blood-painted walls in caves of the ancients
lost tablets and feathered scroll passages
amber remains rendered in primeval stasis
weathered stone overturns long lost ages
artifacts of time chronicle the journeys of men
as pages of a book turning to the steady breeze
life affords a transient license to experience
cover to cover as one comes another takes leave
chapters written with the blood of our veins
as a pen that flows from one to the next
and the ink seeps deep through the pages
making its mark in sanguinary text
inflamed by the friction of shuffling activity
burned in ignorance for its deviating rites
uprising of ideas in the ashen blaze of civility
as remnants of time take oblivionâ€™s flight
obscurities hide in the edge of popular lies
and in time we fall to its blade of affliction
that cuts from inside until a part of us dies
as tomes hollowed from pestilent consumption
even sands their memories do echo
in each grain a score of life symphonic
weathered by timeâ€™s torrential tows
a singularity of a state metamorphic
and men their tales do tell
while one generation rises
another is in descent
one shall advance
and another recede
as waves that grind
the slumbering shores
it is that as one life gives
another one in turn receives
inscribing in the stars
an account of its journey
while waiting to be reborn
in the ocean of eternity
every story that begins inevitably must end
as fleeting pages turn and motions of day ceases
when the binds of our coils become unfettered
then pressure surrenders and finally releases
existence is a volume of blank pages
recording knowledge of the experience
conceived, written, and published
between the covers of flesh and substance
wherein its characters are of our creation
events unwind as of our consequence
and the author has written himself in us
this book of life is checked out most often
and returned just as frequent
because in it the answers will lend
most of which are at the end
the past slips away as certain as the future looms on the horizon and what we have today is all that we have to live by. if we can embrace the present moment without regret and tread on with an enduring heart in hand, we will have lived in that moment. and most would agree that a fulfilling life is one that is lived.
be like the matador and tame life by the horns. if he throws you off, the pain of falling will only know one purpose- to be the passion that fans the flames of determination. a spectator of life can only know limited satisfaction, it is in the living of it that one can know contentment.
in reflection, at life’s end, we are among a circle of friends sharing our scars and stories of triumph.
at this moment, we will know that our path in life is paved by a cement truck that pours love as concrete onto the virgin path and its texture is determined by how much love we are willing to pour from our beings or that which we are choosing to withhold. life’s path is paved by the concrete of love and the lack of it.
a craftsman with tools in hand
skillfully design mix blood and sweat
ready to mend whatâ€™s broke and bent
renews lifeâ€™s lease with a sturdy mallet
when something in me is fractioned
a division of its original intention
having no recourse or much of remorse
wounds drained and shriveled to the core
like shards of glass burrowing
in this heart of mine befallen
twisting motivate its bleeding
removed fibrous muscle ripping
soul weary and flesh withered
how far have i traveled
down this dirt and gravel?
where do my footsteps lead
as they fade with resolute speed?
in the leafy crackling rusty trails
in the dusty wind-whipped valleys
in the grainy chasms of the arctic tundra
in the gritty spiraling sinking sands
of the deeply, blue, green, and darkened sea
How Did You Die?
by Edmund Vance Cooke
Did you tackle that trouble that came your way
With a resolute heart and cheerful?
Or hide your face from the light of day
With a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, a trouble’s a ton, or a trouble’s an ounce,
Or a trouble is what you make it.
And it isn’t the fact that you’re hurt that counts,
But only how did you take it?
You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what’s that?
Come up with a smiling face.
It’s nothing against you to fall down flat,
But to lie there-that’s a disgrace.
The harder you’re thrown, why the higher you bounce;
Be proud of your blackened eye!
It isn’t the fact that you’re licked that counts;
It’s how did you fight and why?
And though you be done to death, what then?
If you battled the best you could;
If you played your part in the world of men,
Why, the Critic will call it good.
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,
And whether he’s slow or spry,
It isn’t the fact that you’re dead that counts,
But only, how did you die?
by John Updike
She must have been kicked unseen or brushed by a car.
Too young to know much, she was beginning to learn
To use the newspapers spread on the kitchen floor
And to win, wetting there, the words, “Good dog!
We thought her shy malaise was a shot reaction.
The autopsy disclosed a rupture in her liver.
As we teased her with play, blood was filling her skin
And her heart was learning to lie down forever.
Monday morning, as the children were noisily fed
And sent to school, she crawled beneath the youngest’s bed.
We found her twisted and limp but still alive.
In the car to the vet’s, on my lap, she tried
To bite my hand and died. I stroked her warm fur
And my wife called in a voice imperious with tears.
Though surrounded by love that would have upheld her,
Nevertheless she sank and, stiffening, disappeared.
Back home, we found that in the night her frame,
Drawing near to dissolution, had endured the shame
Of diarrhoea and had dragged across the floor
To a newspaper carelessly left there. Good dog.
Give All to Love
by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Give all to love;
Obey thy heart;
Friends, kindred, days,
Plans, credit and the Muse,
‘T is a brave master;
Let it have scope:
Follow it utterly,
Hope beyond hope:
High and more high
It dives into noon,
With wing unspent,
But it is a god,
Knows its own path
And the outlets of the sky.
It was never for the mean;
It requireth courage stout.
Souls above doubt,
It will reward,
They shall return
More than they were,
And ever ascending.
Leave all for love;
Yet, hear me, yet,
One word more thy heart behoved,
One pulse more of firm endeavor,
Keep thee to-day,
Free as an Arab
Of thy beloved.
Cling with life to the maid;
But when the surprise,
First vague shadow of surmise
Flits across her bosom young,
Of a joy apart from thee,
Free be she, fancy-free;
Nor thou detain her vesture’s hem,
Nor the palest rose she flung
From her summer diadem.
Though thou loved her as thyself,
As a self of purer clay,
Though her parting dims the day,
Stealing grace from all alive;
When half-gods go,
The gods arrive.
by Christina Rossetti
Come to me in the silence of the night;
Come in the speaking silence of a dream;
Come with soft rounded cheeks and eyes as bright
As sunlight on a stream;
Come back in tears,
O memory, hope and love of finished years.
O dream how sweet, too sweet, too bitter-sweet,
Whose wakening should have been in Paradise,
Where souls brim-full of love abide and meet;
Where thirsting longing eyes
Watch the slow door
That opening, letting in, lets out no more.
Yet come to me in dreams, that I may live
My very life again though cold in death;
Come back to me in dreams, that I may give
Pulse for pulse, breath for breath:
Speak low, lean low,
As long ago, my love, how long ago.
Death The Leveller
by James Shirley
The glories of our blood and state
Are shadows, not substantial things;
There is no armour against Fate;
Death lays his icy hand on kings:
Sceptre and Crown
Must tumble down,
And in the dust be equal made
With the poor crookÃ¨d scythe and spade.
Some men with swords may reap the field,
And plant fresh laurels where they kill:
But their strong nerves at last must yield;
They tame but one another still:
Early or late
They stoop to fate,
And must give up their murmuring breath
When they, pale captives, creep to death.
The garlands wither on your brow,
Then boast no more your mighty deeds!
Upon Death’s purple altar now
See where the victor-victim bleeds.
Your heads must come
To the cold tomb:
Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet and blossom in their dust.